Sameera held the photographs tight in her sweaty palms as her trembling feet slowly moved towards her house. The bright sunny morning was taking away the terror of the dark, sleepless night. She reached her room, locked herself & finally let out a loud cry from her suppressed throat. On the opposite mirror, she saw her strange red face filled with tears, a wide grin & a vengeful victory in her eyes. She tried catching her breath.
She remembered his torturous voice haunting her even in her dreams, his constant stalking on her way to her tuitions, his threatening calls from unknown numbers to remind her of his gruesome demands. Replaying the last one week in her mind she reached the moment it had started.
It was around twilight; she had just finished her extra classes. As usual, her friend walked with her until the main gate, from there on she had to cover 2 km alone in the dark, a path covered with tall trees & howling dogs. But she enjoyed this lone time. Sameera didn’t fear dark but that evening changed everything for her. Suddenly she heard the paddling approaching her way. Her feet had paced a little the moment it slowly stopped near her. She didn’t raise her head but his dark odour reminded her of his identity.
“Yes, this is me, the same Siddharth Verma you used to tease & mock in the 1st year for my body odour”, he leaned over his bicycle.
“Sameera Sharma, the hot babe of our class. I have a gift for you girl”, he reached his pocket and took out a few photographs.
Her pounding heart now almost stopped…… All were her pictures…..Her half-naked or naked pictures…. His murky fingers flipped through such several photos….While taking shower in her bathroom and also while changing in the girl’s common room….
“…….Please …. Please… Don’t do this to me…” Sameera managed to utter, her teary eyes were begging him, “I am really sorry for what I did, but…. But it was not done intentionally….. Please forgive me… Please… give these pictures to me.”
She had pleaded in every way but he demanded something so obnoxious that she had no clue what to say or do after that.
“Well… you will get these… … if you let me enjoy this pretty body of yours once…. And that’s non-negotiable, so Ms. Sharma……. Here’s a deal, you give me a night with you and you get back these photographs, and I am a generous & honest man, I am giving you one week to think over the deal….,” he blackmailed how we would sell those photographs outside the college too if he finds she has revealed this to anyone.
“So…. You know the beautiful place & time…. next Saturday” He turned his bicycle & looked back as he demanded, “Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone.”
She finally met him after a week as per his demand at the famous lover’s point bridge over the river and that was last night. That meeting didn’t take too long.
The next morning as Sameera returned home after that meeting, there was suddenly chaos around the town. An hour later an old lady entered Sameera’s house in a fearful voice, “Mr Sharma, there’s a body found in the river. A boy, from your daughter’s class, Siddharth was drowned….”“I pushed him, aunty. He did have disgusting odour…..” Sameera said sternly looking at the ground.
About the Author:
Mysterious & vivacious places, people & paths- these are Manali Kadam’s favourites. She intensely treasures her dreamworld and tries to balance the rational and mystical life’s experiences. Dancing and writing have helped her best so far to express her inner self. A freelance soft skills facilitator she loves to travel, eat and listen to people’s stories. Learning to become a better human each day, that’s her goal.

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